This is a great DIY if you love the look of distressed designer leggings but don't want to pay the high prices for them. It works best with leggings with no seam at the side. I used $4.50 leggings from Forever 21 to recreate the $100 David Lerner ones.
You begin with a plain pair of leggings. Make sure they don’t have seams on the sides. Put them on and with a seamstress’ chalk pencil (or a piece of chalk), make markings where you want the cuts to be- both vertically and horizontally. Take them off and lay flat. Look at the front and back to match up the markings you made and reposition the leggings as needed.
Now you’re going to take a ruler and draw a straight line from the top markings of the leggings to the bottom ones. This will ensure that the cut lines will be uniform all the way down. My markings were about 2? in from the edge of the leggings on the top, 1? in the middle and 1/2? at the bottom. So when it’s cut, the top cuts on the thigh will be 4? wide and will taper down to 1? wide at the ankle. I started the top cuts 9? from the top of the leggings and ended them 2? from the bottom.
After the line is drawn, make markings every 3/4? on it. This is how far apart your slits will be.
Here is where it can get a bit tricky, but you’ll get the hang of it after the first few cuts. Instead of cutting a straight line at every 3/4? mark, we’re going to cut a small carrot out. This opens up the slits to show more skin, otherwise you’d have cuts but would hardly see any skin peeking out. You’re going to cut out a small piece so that you’re left with a 1/2? wide piece on the edge and some space around it. The points of where the cut ends are at the 3/4? mark on the line you drew. Make sense?
This is what it looks like when you’re done. You can simply brush the chalk off with your hands.
The finished look.